Despite temperatures that weren't quite in the teens, we loaded up the Simca and headed up to Rye, a small patch of suburbia about seven miles from the northern-most border of New York City. We wanted to give Whiskey a chance to romp around in snow that wasn't already crusted with carbon-monoxide and the other noxious residues of modern urban living.
The Simca's heater is still on the fritz--I have an appointment next week after work to see Lothar, my Croatian Simca mechanic and, to my mind anyway, the world's best. But for now my wife had wrapped herself in a yellow and green afghan her Aunt Louise had crocheted some decades ago. She also brought along a tall tumbler of hot chocolate and had on fur-lined winter boots that would be at home in Murmansk, hard on the chill of the Baltic Sea, not far from the Arctic Circle.
I was dressed with equal resolve in my genuine Astrakhan hat and red woolen hunting jacket I got decades ago. I wear the jacket no more than five or ten times a year, but like Shane, who only strapped on his .45s when needed, I'm glad I have the jacket. I will wear it, probably, until I leave for that last, long hunt--a one-way walk through the woods, with no compensatory antlered-trophies to carry home.
The roads were empty, even the roads that never are, and we made it to Rye in just under half and hour. We let Whiskey out of the backseat and she bounded up a hill of snow and onto the snow-covered field, sinking into the snow up to her elbows, about eight-inches deep.
Given that the wind was howling and the snow was deep and the temperature was what it was, there were not many dogs and people out. I suppose if I lived in suburbia and had a fire roaring and the Times' crossword puzzle waiting, perhaps I would not brave the elements either. But taking Whiskey up to the country is now a routine, and an enjoyable one at that.
What's more, the sun shone brightly and its rays felt warm on our faces. I threw underhand Whiskey's favorite toy and she bounded through the snow, proudly returning with her quarry. We did this over and again for an hour, walking around the Rye town park as she fetched. Though she showed no signs of becoming tuckered out we left the park and walked about a mile on the snow-crusted boardwalk that runs along the sea. Even on the boardwalk I would toss ahead of her her toy and off she'd run for it, returning directly to me.
After about two hours in total, we re-Simca'd and drove back to Manhattan, parking in our lot, two or three stories beneath our building.
It wasn't much of a day. Not eventful at all.
It was merely perfect.